I came home from an amazing Speak Out event about Trayvon Martin's killing at Glide (the incredible church I sing at) and knew it was time to sing this. It's based on a tune by Bob Dylan called The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, which is simply one of the greatest songs ever written, sociopolitical or otherwise. I couldn't ignore the sad symmetry between that awful tale and this one, decades later, still so similar. I kept as many of the lyrics intact as I could. As with Dylan's tune, all the details I included are based on verified news reports.
The video is verified, unedited footage of George Zimmerman arriving at the police station after stalking and killing Trayvon Martin. After he called in and told the police he was following Trayvon (and they told him not to follow him), he then shot him point-blank and admitted it, saying it was self-defense. Zimmerman claims that Trayvon had punched him in the face, bloodied his nose and slammed his head head on the ground repeatedly. Some things to think about:
- Can you see any signs of an altercation looking at these tapes? I can't.
- Please listen to the call Zimmerman made (and bear in mind that he made over 40 911 calls in the recent past). Listen to his voice, his description of Trayvon. Does he sound rational and sober. Does his account od Trayvon heading towards him, then turning and running, make sense?
- Please listen to the 911 calls on which you can hear someone screaming for help. Does that sounds like someone beaing beaten up, or someone begging for their life because there's a gun pointed at them?
- Note that Zimmerman was arrested for assault on a police officer and cited twice for domestic violence. All of those cases were closed for some reason.
- Note that Zimmerman's dad is a retired judge.
I have no interest in characterizing George Zimmerman beyond sharing information that would be pertinent to figuring out what happened that night. I don't care what race he is, nor do I care if he's a racist. I think the real story (and the real racism) here is this: Why did the Sanford police let George Zimmerman go that night, after he'd admitted to killing Travon Martin, with no drug testing, despite a story that just makes no sense given all this information? If it were a dark-skinned young man named Trayvon Martin who'd just admitted to shooting a light-skinned young man named George Zimmerman, do you think he would have been let go that easily?
Trayvon's Martin's death is an unspeakable tragedy. Imagine if that were your son, brother, friend. Feel it. Let's at least learn from this horrible situation, be honest with each other, with ourselves. Let's be honest about guns, about race and privilege, about our fear of young black men, about all the many things this tragedy brings up. Let's start by focusing on and fixing the corruption and/or incompetence of the Sanford police and justice system -- and by taking a serious look at ourselves and the racism that still hurts us all in ways we can't even comprehend.
Please feel free to share all of this in any way you like. If you want to download the tune, you can pay as much you like, safely and securely. Any money generated will go directly to Trayvon's family, of course. Mostly, just please speak up in every way you can.
The Lonesome Death Of Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin was a young man in high school
On the night of the shooting, the cops questioned Zimmerman